Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.
Vintage photos of:
December 1942. Proviso Yard, Chicago & North Western R.R. "A train, or 'cut,' being pushed out of a receiving yard toward the hump. A brakeman rides each train to signal the engineer in the locomotive at the rear." View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano, Office of War Information.
April 1865. "Farmville, Virginia, vicinity. High bridge of the South Side Railroad across the Appomattox." From photographs of the main Eastern theater of war, the siege of Petersburg, June 1864-April 1865. Wet collodion glass plate negative, left half of stereograph pair, by Timothy H. O'Sullivan; from Civil War photographs compiled by Hirst Milhollen and Donald Mugridge. View full size.